Neurodiversity

Element Descriptor

Human beings come with different wirings. This is worth remembering, appreciating and designing for in meetings, publications, communications. Not doing it means talent is wasted and folks are alienated. And that, that is the status quo we are trying to change…

Level descriptors

NovicePractitionerExpertNinja
You have a working understanding of the signs and symptoms of the most common neurodiverse populations (Aspergers, Autism) and how life can be made easier or harder depending on environmental factors and choices of how to interact with people.You can understand and explain to others multiple forms of neurodiversity and how these play out in day-to-day circumstances, and what good design and good allyship look like, without being patronising, condescending or paternalisticYou have a comprehensive understanding of the full gamut of neurodiversity, probably because you or a family member have been diagnosed with some form of it You’re able to explain to oblivious or vaguely skeptical people that it really isn’t (just) about wheelchair ramps, and that if they want to have the benefit of the energies of all members of society, then a change it has to come.You’re like an expert, only you can deal with all the heckles, jibes and spurious arguments without losing your cool, and this helps “convert” some of the people looking on as you lock horns with some dickhead (not that it is your responsibility to de-dickheadify the world).

Element Overview Essay

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The reason this is done badly or not at all, is that many people – though we’re reducing the number – have little personal experience of dealing with people who are diagnosed as neurodivergent. And when they do have dealings with them, people tend to shy away from seeing the world as they see it. We’re trying to actually understand what’s going on, and instead resort to cliches and slurs and so forth.

The consequences of not understanding neurodiversity is you piss a lot of people off because you’re being prejudiced against them. You are not able to welcome them, to get benefit of their different ways of thinking and of any skills and talents they might have. And being less instrumentalist anyway, don’t we, as active citizens want a world where it is possible for people who are neurodiverse to be happy, active members of society? And shouldn’t we be prefigurative to the best of our ability?

So the fixes are to learn about different forms of neurodiversity. do that by talking to people, listening to people, reading memoirs, reading fiction, and I don’t just mean a Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. And understanding that there are different ways of looking at the world.

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Assessment Resources